I was honoured and really privileged to be invited by Graham to attend as a guest at the special celebrations held for the opening of the Graham Taylor stand at Watford FC.

It was a lovely event and the crowd really showed their appreciation for the fantastic achievements Graham achieved during his time as manager (twice) and chairman.

To receive an invitation was a sign of how Graham supports our work and we are all really proud and fortunate to have him as our Patron.

  • Airdrieonians FC visit 8 November
  • Attendance at the Herts FA Coaching seminar
  • Boxing up 15 November
  • Mitzvah Day collections 16 November 

All of the above will be great events and I will post more details in next months update, but if you do want any info before then please let me know.

Thanks to those who helped out on the day at what was a really great event.

KitAid received a lot of pre and post publicity and we will receive a great donation of at least £1,500 once all of the proceeds are collected.

Many thanks to the organising team who did a great job.

Many of you will know our involvement with this project and how we have sponsored the week long footy camp for quite a few years now. I always come back from our trip to Belfast really inspired and full of admiration for the great work Peter and his team do for the young people in north Belfast.

He recently sent a report of this years footy camp with some feedback on the impact it had made on a couple of the boys who attended. Here are the details

"What an amazing week my son Luke, along with 70 odd other boys was fortunate enough to be part of this year again. Football, fresh air exercise, team work, confidence building, banter, making new friends and generally just having fun and enjoying themselves with fab role models at the legendary BlueHouses football camp. We are truly blessed in Ballysillan to have Ballysillan Youth for Christ in our area and I for one am extremely grateful for everything you do for our kids and subsequently our area. I've said before what a novel way to spread such an important message. Super people doing a super job. Or as my young son calls them 'The Christians with the X-box' ",Lee Conville

From a family support worker who referred a 10 year old to the camp……

"Before Blue Houses involvement, he was not involved in any social activities and was very reluctant to do so. The family had limited funding and there were behavioral problems at home. Since being part of the Summer Football Camp, not only has he developed a real enthusiasm for the sport, he has also grown in self confidence and belief.

He has now joined his local football team, which involves training twice a week and a match on Saturday. From this, he is learning to work as team and to take the winning with the losing! He enjoys it so much that he will be bringing his younger brothers to join the club too! This has helped developed his social circle and ability to interact with others. It has had a grave impact on the family home as now he has learnt to re-focus his energy that was previously being used in a negative way. It has been amazing to see such a change in his life and how it can impact the family as a whole. A massive thank you to all involved."

A massive thank you to Dougy Allsop and the team from AFC Supporters Trust who collected nearly 4,000 items of kit for us from their season ticket campaign kit amnesty. This was a fantastic project and we have now built a really good link with the club and the Supporters Trust thanks to Dougy.

All of the kit arrived on Monday and the storeroom is now floor to ceiling with black bin bags full of shirts from all over Scotland. Some of us are heading north to visit AFC on 8 November when they play a game against Stenhousemuir, who we also have strong links with.

It’s not too late to join us if you fancy a weekend of footy, fun and no doubt a few liquid refreshments. Dougy worried me when he sent a text saying “bring your raincoat but leave your liver behind” There are some good photos on our twitter/blog sites of the shirts being sorted in Airdrie and we look forward to seeing pictures of them all being worn in Africa over the next few months.

Thanks to all involved and we look forward to continuing working with Dougy and his team in the future.

Thanks to Peter for arranging another really good collection at FC United. We travelled up in the KitAid Tour Bus, (Kenny Lawrence’s van), and we had a great day. This was the fifth collection we have held with the club and it was evident that we are becoming well known with their fans.

We also had some players donating kit and other clubs ( Stalybridge Celtic and Grantham Town) also got involved by donating kit on the day. We received some good publicity and as FC United have a big twitter following our views for the week peaked at 10,500.

Thanks again to Peter and FC United and we really hope you get the promotion you deserve after missing out in the play off final for the last three seasons. Thanks also to Kenny and Rob Lawrence who drove us there and back, provided the van and fuel all free of charge.

Recently we received a kind donation from one of the biggest clubs in the world Manchester United.  The red kit of United is recognised no matter where you are in the world and the recipients of this kit was the Nyumanzi Camp in North Uganda.

Please watch this short video to see how this kit was greatly received. 

We were very fortunate to receive a donation of fantastic training kit from Manchester United recently from their training complex at Carrington.  Some of the kit has now found its way to a massive refugee camp in Northern Uganda which houses 100,000 displaced people who have fled South Sudan.

The kit was taken out for us by the Watford based charity, Eagles Wings and it was delivered by their founder, Bruce Oliver.  He explained that many of the people have no possessions and there is nothing to do for the thousands of young people.  The kits are now being used as part of a football project where teams wear it in inter zone matches and play tournaments.

As we say, it really is more than just a shirt as it brings hope where little exists.  Thanks to the kit managers at Carrington who kindly sorted and helped get it to us.

We had a great time at the WFC Open Day and really appreciate the support from the club.  We received a lot of shirts on the day, mainly Hornets ones, as well as some great training kit from the club.  We also met a lot of fans and explained how we work and who we are.  A lot already knew of us which is encouraging and the retweets by the club certainly helped with this. 

Many thanks to all of the fans who donated shirts and to Alex Ashby who is one of the main organisers.  Good luck for the new season, COYH.

Probably one of the most enjoyable aspects of KitAid is being able to help so many people across the world.  As you will know, we operate a very cost effective model and we have always worked on the basis that if we do build up a surplus of funds, we will mange our finances responsibly and make grants for what we consider to be surplus to needs, rather than sitting on money in the bank.

As a result of the 15th Anniversary Dinner and some other donations we were able to release £4k for small grants to charities we know and work with.  We have made the following grants to

  • Craft Aid – £1,000                     Working with orphanages and sports projects in Uganda
  • Stegota FC – £1,000                To be used on a special project for the community to supply shirt printing equipment
  • Maleala Lesotho – £750          To buy kit, equipment and boots for 35 players from age of 10 – 16 years
  • Mbale Uganda – £1,000          To buy kit, equipment, goal posts, netballs for 200 pupils at Budwale Secondary School